Does Web Design Affect Search Engine Optimization?

Our clients frequently inquire about the possibility of ranks in Google search results being impacted by web design. Since Google cannot view your website and, more particularly, does not have an opinion on whether or not it is well designed, the idea of how a website looks is not something one would think of examining.

We must examine a few of the ranking variables that Google incorporates into its algorithm before we can respond to this question. Since we are talking about web design, this always refers to the creation of a website. Choosing a web design firm should take this into consideration because it can greatly affect your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).

Does Web Design Affect Search Engine Optimization?

On-site SEO Ranking Factors for Google

The number of details that Google’s algorithm examines on your website has significantly increased in the 20 years that it has been enhancing its search engine. These specifics include the text and a few loose ends of data utilized to program your website.

These factors and the degree to which Google values each component have been the subject of extensive investigation. The outcomes are, at best, informed guesses. Google doesn’t directly share much information with the public about how it ranks webpages.

Does a New Website Have a Better Google Ranking?

Because it is new, a new website undoubtedly has a chance to rank higher in Google. This does not imply that it always is. There are many ranking elements to take into account.

Google enjoys fresh products and content. Simply creating an updated website informs Google that there is fresh content. Based on the assumption that all previously optimized content and other on-site optimization have been preserved or even improved, their algorithm prioritizes this signal.

A company will frequently relaunch a website and observe a decline in both traffic and ranking. This is not a technical issue, such as the use of 301 redirects, but rather a result of the work put into the design. Everyone wants to establish a new, attractive website, but we shouldn’t overlook the technical aspects of SEO when doing so.

Design of the Home Page and Content

Big hero above the fold sliders and minimalist web design strategies have been popular over the past few years. In general, there should be more images, more background space, and fewer text. While this could give the site a more contemporary appearance, it can occasionally make it more difficult to rank on Google’s first page.

These design trends may make it challenging to add necessary material to your website’s most crucial page as Google can only read what is on your website. This is not to say that a website with few words can’t rank higher; it only implies that in order to get beyond this barrier, a lot of additional SEO ranking elements are needed.

A similar problem occurs when a website loads into the browser top heavy with graphics before providing the written content when you scroll further down the page. According to SEO study, Google favors content that is located above the fold. Not that these websites will have difficulties ranking, to reiterate. Just bear in mind that, even with additional optimization, a web design like this can make it slightly more difficult to rank above your rivals if you are in a location or industry that is especially competitive.

Does UX affect rankings?

Google is unsure whether website offers the best user experience (UX) or usability. To assess a domain’s SEO worth, search engines do not monitor user behavior on websites. This is not to argue that User Experience and Ranking Factors do not organically overlap. A good illustration of how the two converge is mobile-friendly.

Most people are now aware of Google’s preference for responsive websites and the fact that mobile experiences are favored while utilizing mobile devices. As a result, the search engines decided that this was a crucial component of the algorithm and would become much more so in the future. Along with this, graphics that have been scaled to the point where they can load more quickly and clean code that results in speedier response times.

This does not imply that a cheery image will help you rank better in search engine results pages (SERPs). Once more, understanding how ranking factors and user experience differ is helpful.

Every Little Detail Counts

However, knowing some of the fundamentals of SEO can help ensure that a website is Google friendly while still allowing a designer to express themselves:

  • There are many ways to shorten the styling process while developing a website, including by employing header tags. H1 tags enlarge and bold text. Similarly, but slightly smaller, are H2 tags, and so on down to H6. On this page specifically, there are header tags. A designer will occasionally use H1 tags for all huge content on a page. Per page, Google only wants to see one H1 tag. Hence the issues that can arise when a designer and an optimizer are not in contact.
  • Add Alt Text and Give Your Images a Name – Image12564.jpg is not a name that is conducive to SEO. We must provide Google with useful words to define images because it cannot “see” them. The other element on which Google mainly relies is the alternative text tag. People, describe your images!
  • Text inside of images shouldn’t be locked – The phrase “editable text” will be used. This implies that Google cannot interpret an image that has been created using a photo and text and saved in that manner. There is no SEO value in the image’s content. On a website, you can see this if you try to pick any text with your pointer in the browser but are unable to do so. When you open the image after dragging it from the website, you can also verify this. If you can read the text in that image, Google cannot read it.
  • Resize Your photos – Content management systems let you resize pictures so they display visually appealingly. Nevertheless, the website is only resizing the image in the browser. Google does not perceive this as a reduced image since it is still being downloaded from the same source. Always expect a 30-MB image to load slowly, especially on a smartphone. Designers, if at all feasible, reduce image size to less than 100k.

How to Determine the Most Important Design Elements

As with most sectors, specialization starts to happen as they develop. In the past, the same person who designed your website was frequently the one who coded it. Specialization in design, development (both front and back end), search engine optimization, and other areas expanded as the digital marketing sector grew.

This is not to say that there aren’t talented people who can cross these gaps, but it is advised that you look into a web design firm that has experience with both when your business heavily depends on having a website that appeals to both current and potential clients as well as being found in Google. A design’s aesthetic appeal alone does not guarantee that the search engines will favor it.

Consider some of the websites you have looked at in-depth regarding your own sector. Have you ever looked through search results and thought, “Wow, that is ugly,” or something similar? Most likely, it had good optimization.


If you are interested in learning more about how your business can benefit from better web design, search engine optimization, and search engine marketing, please reach out to us – we’d love to talk with you about how we can help you succeed!

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